In preparation for the service entry of its PC-24 business jet in 2017, Pilatus Aircraft has begun to strengthen and expand its sales and service network for the superlight twin. The network so far includes six established service centres in the USA: Western Aircraft in Boise, Idaho and Epps Air Service, in Atlanta, Georgia and one each in Panama, Australia, Africa and Europe. Negotiations with additional sales and service partners covering other parts of the world are under way, says the Stans, Switzerland-based manufacturer of the PC-12 single-engined turboprop.

The PC-24 was launched in May and marked Pilatus’s foray into the business jet market. The first Williams FJ44-4A-powered PC-24 is currently under construction in Stans, and is scheduled to make its first flight in late 2014. Three aircraft will be used in the flight test programme. Certification is earmarked for 2017.

Pilatus says it will open the orderbook for the $9 million aircraft at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in May 2014, when the aircraft’s launch customer will also be revealed.